1,000 Books Before Kindergarten 

The Jack Russell Memorial Library is pleased to offer this free Early Literacy Program as part of a state-wide program called Growing Wisconsin Readers. 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten is open to any child, beginning at birth until the start of kindergarten. It encourages parents and caregivers to read 1,000 books to their child before he or she begins school. 

Reading together helps your child develop important pre-literacy skills that will prepare them for success in school. It is also a fun way to spend time together! 

It is easy to participate! 


How it works: 

  1. Sign up at the Children’s Desk. You will receive your child’s reading log and more information about the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Program.  
  2. Read with your child. 
  3. Color in a circle on your log for every book you read. If you read the same book more than once, be sure to count it each time. 
  4. Bring your completed logs back to the library to receive prizes and track your progress on the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten flower garden wall. Children receive special milestone prizes at 100, 500, and 1,000 books. 



Participate from home: 

1)   Sign up on the 1,000 Books Sign-Up” Google form. 

2)   Download/print off the following forms: 

  • Reading log: This will help you keep track of how many books you read together. You will cross off a circle on the sheet any time you read a book. If you read the same book 5 times, cross off 5 circles! 
  • Flower template (optional): Decorate and add a petal to your child’s flower for every 100 books read. When you reach 1,000, you will have a completed flower. 

3)   Collect milestone prizes. Children receive prizes at 100, 500, and 1,000 books. Complete the Milestone Logging Google Form to let library staff know when your child has reached a reading milestone. Library staff will contact you to schedule a time to pick up your child’s prize. 

4)   When you reach 1,000 books, submit a photo of your child with their favorite book. This photo will be put on the graduation poster displayed at the library and shared on the Library’s Facebook page. 

Learn more about 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten: 

    • 1,000 Books to Read Before Kindergarten Brochure 
    • Why Read Aloud?


      Frequently Asked Questions:
      Q: How old does my child have to be to enroll in the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program?
      A: Any child who has not yet started kindergarten is eligible to enroll. Current participants range in age from newborn to 6 years. Reading together is important at any age. 

      Q: How quickly do I have to finish the program?
      A: The goal is to finish the program before your child enters kindergarten so you can read at your own pace.  

      Q: Do we have to read certain books?
      A: No, all books count. Read favorites from your shelves at home or stock up on books here at the Library. All reading is beneficial.